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The Man Behind the Hoodie That Started the Made-In-the-USA Apparel Movement American Giant is pushing the boundaries of Made in the USA, honing domestic manufacturing of its beloved hoodies--and more.

By Jennifer Wang

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It took eight months and dozens of prototypes before Bayard Winthrop, CEO of online apparel company American Giant, settled on the design for the ultimate hooded sweatshirt. He started from scratch, hiring creative director Philipe Manoux, a former industrial engineer at Apple, and world-renowned pattern-design engineer Steve Mootoo to rethink every aspect of the traditionally bland wardrobe staple.

A partial list of enhancements: reinforced elbow pads; a double-lined hood; custom hardware; a carefully calculated spandex percentage woven into the cuffs and waist to hold shape and elasticity; a "dry hand" feel, achievable when premium cotton fabric has been napped, or run through machines that pick out tiny loops of thread to give it extra softness and lift; and most noticeable, a fitted shape, thanks to side paneling and shoulder ribbing that eliminates the boxy, slouchy silhouette of most hoodies and allows for easier mobility.

"I don't expect people to know the sum of all the parts, but I expect them to pick it up and be able to feel a difference in quality," Winthrop says, noting that American Giant's heavyweight hoodies retail for a sensible $69 (the zippered version for $79), comparable to lesser-quality shirts from brand-name retailers.

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